Sound — 8
I should start by saying this album is different, but also it has more of the same at the same time. Which is both good and bad. First song I heard was Reckoning, and after one listen I was hooked, say what you want, but that song is catchy, and heavy at the same time, which is why people most people listen to Killswitch to begin with. (and whats nice about that song is the lyrics change it up a little bit, singing about god isntead of heartbreak.) There were also a bucnha songs on the album that start and I immediately found myself bangin my head wit a smile on my face, the forgotten, never again, and starting over being some of them. The drums have switched up a little bit, taking a bit more of an eratic, crazy turn. They also just feel stronger. The big thing for killswitch has always been the guitars, but this album really showcases what Foley can do. But don't listen to anyone who says the guitar parts are toned down, the riffs, as always, are monsterous for a Drop C metalcore band, the leads are as catchy and cool as ever, and get this, theres a *gasp* guitar solo on the opening track, Never Again! Not counting holy diver, there hsant been a solo since Breathe Life, way back on The End of Heartache. Approach the instrumentals on this album with an open mind, and ull be pleased.
Lyrics — 6
Singing and lyrics are another thing though. Lets get this outta the way, yes Howard Jones has an amazing voice and a beastly scream. But it gets kinda frustuarting when you know whats coming. Screamed verses, catchy ballady sung chourses, repeat. But any Killswitch fan knows this has been there formula for years, and if it works, it works. The lyrics, I'm afraid to say are the same deal. Heartbreak, Heartbreak, "inspirational" song. You know the deal with Killswitch. Reckoning is a nice litte change up, as I said before. "No man can be a deity You are no God to me This is a reckoning You are nothing to me This is the reckoning" Might be about God, I've heard its about Obama, you make up your own mind about that. However, as I said before, this album is different, while being the same at the same time. Jones has really stepped up his singing, and its not AS repetitive as before. His screaming also has taken a bit of a change. It sounds more wild and raw, almost like he's doing it live on some tracks, espically Never Again, Save Me, and BIG time on Reckoning. At first I didn't like it so much, it kinda sounded almost weaker. But as you listen to it, trust me, it grows on you, and it doesn't sound weak at all, it sounds insane. But unfortunately, Mike D. doesn't have ne backing vocals on this, and that really sucks. His high pitched scream is absolutely ridicolous, just listen to When Darkness Falls or Reject Yourself to see what I mean. The singing has gotten better skillwise, but in terms of originality, its kind of lacking, espically the lyrics.
Overall Impression — 8
Like I said before, this album is different. I feel that there wasnt much of a change between The End Of Heartache and As Daylight Dies, but there is deffinately change here, and it isn't bad in anyway whatsoever. The screaming is great, and can be very ballsy, and the singing can be emotional and heartfelt (Which Is Not A Bad Thing) all in the same song, but than again, thats why people listen to Killswitch. The guitars and drums are great, guitars living up to their standard and drums going above and beyond. The only real bummer about this is the repetitive singing and lyrics, but that is the case with many bands in this metalcore genre. Even with this, Killswitch Engage is still the band you should go to if your looking for good metalcore.